How will Cabrini’s legacy be carried forward?

John Rader

By John Rader
October 26, 2023

Jay and Barbara Rader, both wearing nicer clothes. Both look like they are having a good time and relaxed. They are posing for the photo, Barbara has her arm around Jay's back.
Jay and Barbara Rader circa 1989. Photo courtesy of Barbara Rader.

Cabrini University is a special place, and now it will become a footnote in history. My family will forever be tied to the little campus on the hill, as both my parents, Jay Rader (Class of 1988) and Barbara Noone Rader (Class of 1989) are Cabrini alumni.

Something to look forward to as an alumnus is the ability to go back to your university, and participate in alumni events. Sadly, my family will never be granted this opportunity once the 2023-24 school year comes to a close. 

I have pondered this proposition since this summer’s announcement. Sixty-seven years of history just washed away due to a business transaction that will see Villanova purchase my family’s beloved university. Villanova and the Cabrini administration can strip us of our school, but they can never take away our memories, or the stories that will be passed down from generation to generation. 

A different Cabrini

It’s no secret that Cabrini was a much different school in the 1980’s than it is today. For starters, more students lived on campus, the gymnasium was above the cafeteria, houses such as Infante and Xavier Hall buzzed with students, and the Loquitur printed advertisements in the paper. I grew up hearing a description of a school that was vibrant and full of joy. People wanted to be on campus, and Cabrini actually felt like a “normal” school. COVID-19 did a number on this college, possibly hastening its closure. The atmosphere around campus feels desolate compared to the atmosphere my parents described.

Jay Rader participating for the Cabrini Mens Golf team during his senior season in 1988. Photo courtesy of Barbara Rader.

Students stayed local, as my father made the short drive around the corner to the local Cabrini watering hole, the Wayne Tavern, on Tuesday nights. It seems as though Tuesday night was always a fun night for Cabrini students, as virtually no classes were held on Wednesdays due to a prep day for professors.

Students borrowed food trays from the dining hall and used them as sleds on snow days. My father recalled a time when he and his buddies wanted to get back at my mom and her friends for pelting their cars with snowballs.

What did they do in response? They found an open window in my mothers apartment and threw snowballs through her window until the dorm room was flooded. My mom describes the moment her and her friend, Michelle DelVecchio’s faces turned from one of smugness, into one of horror when she realized what the boys were up to.

Back then, Cabrini’s basketball rivalry with Eastern University was fierce. Every Eastern vs. Cabrini game was a neck and neck finish, and the bleachers were packed with students. My father and a group of Cabrini fans even traveled to Scranton to watch the team in the NCAA tournament.Today, students hardly bother to attend sporting events, and traveling to watch the Cavaliers play is a foreign concept. 

A culture of care

 Cabrini was a fun school, and the worst part of the Villanova deal is that it was getting back to being a fun school. Last year, students hung out around campus, the communication wing was always full, and the vibe was totally different compared to previous years.

Despite differences in culture, Cabrini was, and still is, a small school. Due to its size, Cabrini fosters a culture of care. The professors care about their students, and the students care about their fellow classmates. In the communication department, whether it’s the Loquitur, House 67 Productions, Social Nexus, or Cavalier Radio, every team you work with feels like family. I always felt that my fellow classmates had my back, and my professors supported me.

My father agrees. During his senior year my father was absent from the last class of the semester. Normally a oneclass absence would not be an issue; however, this was my fathers third absence, which would have lead to an automatic failure.

Jay Rader during his graduation from Bishop Eustice High School circa 1985. Photo by Jack Rader.

Thankfully, Professor Carter Craigie sent a student to my father’s dorm room to wake him up. This ensured his graduation, and exemplifies the culture of care created at Cabrini.

With Villanova purchasing Cabrini there has been no announcement regarding their plan to preserve Cabrini’s legacy. Legacy is something that is very important to my family and me, and now will our legacy be that my parents’ son was in the final graduating class at Cabrini?

That is something that we as Cabrinians can not allow to happen. This campus has a storied history, and we cannot allow those memories to vanish when Villanova’s bulldozers drive up the hill.

Stories of the university need to be passed down to future generations, to ensure that our school’s legacy will not fade away. 


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

John Rader

John Rader

My name is John “Jake” Rader and I am a senior here at Cabrini University. This is my second year being a part of the Loquitur, as I am the News Editor for this year's team. In addition to that, I am also in charge of managing the corrections page for the Loquitur. I have an avid passion for being on camera, and showing off my personality. My ultimate goal is to be a news or sports anchor, or doing sports broadcast work. I hope to continue to build my highlight reel this year with the Loquitur, and I have formally interned/blogged for Branded Sports.

You May Also Like

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Special Project

Title IX Redefined Website

Produced by Cabrini Communication
Class of 2024

Listen Up

Season 2, Episode 3: Celebrating Cabrini and Digging into its Past


Scroll to Top
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap